Board of Directors

      Board Of Directors 




Stella R. Murga, Executive Director 

Stella R. Murga is the Founder and Executive Director of Adelante Youth Alliance (AYA). Under Stella’s direction, AYA produces the two largest annual college and career conferences for Latina/o youth in the State of California, Adelante Mujer Latina & Adelante Young Men Conference.

In August 2015, YWCA Pasadena-Foothill Valley selected Stella as the 2015 Racial Justice Award recipient.  In March 2015,  Assemblymember of the 41st Assembly District, Chris Holden selected Stella as “Woman of the Year.” Hispanic Lifestyle Magazine recgnized her as a Latina of Influence . In 2013, Stella was selected as a Woman Achiever by Business Life Magazine. And in 2006, Pasadena Weekly highlighted Stella as one of eight Pasadena/Altadena individuals “Making A Difference” in the lives of youth.

Earlier in her career, Stella owned and managed a Vocational Rehabilitation Consulting business for 25 years. Under Stella's direction, thousands of injured workers were trained and supported in finding suitable gainful employment in the greater San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles areas. Her purpose and change in path was made in response to an alarming increase in youth violence and high numbers of school drop outs in her Pasadena community. Stella thrives on helping others succeed and is committed to uplifting and inspiring Latina/o youth follow their dreams. She earned her M.S. Degree in Public Administration from California State University, Los Angeles and her B.S. Degree in Business Management from the University of Redlands.    

 Woman of the Year Press Releases - Click Here




 Julie Marquez, President
      Senior Sales Director, Treasury Management, CIT Bank

Julie is the Senior Sales Director, Treasury Management with CIT Bank in Pasadena, and has worked in the banking field for over 35 years. She earned and continues to maintain the Certified Treasury Professional, CTP designation awarded by the Association of Financial Professionals, since 1998.

Julie is an active member of the National Association of Financial Professionals since 2000, and an active member of the Southern California Association of Financial Professionals, serving as a board member in 2005 – 2006.

A strong believer in community service, Julie has volunteered as an Adelante Mujer Latina Conference workshop presenter for many years, as well as with Junior Achievement, providing information to underprivileged youth about finance and business. She has served on the Board of Directors for Family Intervention and Crisis Services (FICS), which helps alcohol and drug addicted people and their families. Julie has also served with Boy Scouts of America (BSA), as Treasurer of Troop 476 and Merit Badge Counselor.


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Jose M. Mayorquin, Vice President
      Programming Producer and Writer, KABC-TV

Jose Mayorquin has worked at the Los Angeles affiliate of ABC since 2002 when he first joined the television station as an intern. After several years in the station’s Public Affairs Department, Jose was promoted to Programming Writer/Producer. He is now responsible for writing, producing and directing local programming, including shows like ABC7’s Vista L.A., a Latino-themed public affairs show, Eye on L.A., an entertainment magazine-format show, as well as other Eyewitness News and programming specials such as live broadcasts of the Academy Awards and American Music Awards pre and post shows. He also produces independent projects, including short films, public service announcements, commercials, music videos and other television programming. His productions have earned him three Imagen Awards and two Emmy Awards. While earning his college degree at the University of California at Berkeley, he studied abroad in Mexico City at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)


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Mike Mera, Secretary

            Visual Design Manager, Disney Stores North America

Originally from Mexico City, Mike Mera has worked for The Walt Disney Company for 12 years since earning his degree in graphic design. His initial responsibilities as a production artist with the eCommerce division laid the foundation for various positions throughout his tenure with the company. He has been involved with numerous milestone online initiatives such as the launch of the first eCommerce Mobile App for, design and integration of interactive and personalized shopping experiences, redesign and launch of with the recent acquisition by Disney, as well as numerous guest facing, engaging and brand elevating initiatives.

Currently, his role as Visual Design Manager for Disney Stores North America has once again added to his expanded abilities and leadership as his focus is now on the in-store retail guest experience. Collaborating closely with a solid team of veteran designers, marketing experts and planners, has resulted in numerous accolades and industry awards over that last three years.

His experience in online and print design, creative direction, ecommerce, and marketing also extends outside of The Walt Disney Company. As a freelance designer Mike Mera partners with various local businesses, individuals and non-profit organizations to help elevate their brand and image.

Mike Mera holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in Graphic Design from California State University Northridge, where he also served as Associated Students Senator for the Arts Media and Communication Department.

Currently Mike Mera resides in Pasadena where you can occasionally see him running or cycling around the Rose Bowl or swimming at the Pasadena Aquatic center training for a Triathlon.


Rene Gonzalez

Rene Gonzalez, Treasurer   
      Assistant Superintendent (Retired), Los Angeles Unified School District

Rene Gonzalez is a retired Los Angeles Unified School District, Assistant Superintendent. Prior to his retirement, he was responsible for providing Student Health and Human Services for over 700 Kindergarten through Twelfth grade schools and managed a $35 million budget. Services provided by his department included, but were not limited to; school mental health, school nursing, student attendance, Medi-Cal outreach and enrollment; and community partnerships. His career in education spans 38 years and has included roles as a teacher, counselor, school psychologist and administrator.

During his tenure as assistant superintendent, he successfully established 15 new school-community wellness centers,utilizing $32 million construction joint-use funds and partnered with a number of federally qualified community healthcare providers. In addition, he successfully negotiated expansion of the district’s contract the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, making LAUSD the largest school district mental health provider in the State.


Gerda in Green

Gerda Govine, Ph.D, Board Member
        CEO, G. Govine Consulting

Dr. Govine specializes in human resources services, focusing on organization and management development, which includes prevention, intervention, enhancement and solutions for management from the recruitment stage through the array of human resources processes. She designs and provides State of California AB 1825 sexual harassment prevention training for managers and supervisory personnel, conducts investigations and works as an expert witness/litigation consultant on Title VII employment discrimination complaints and lawsuits. Dr. Govine is a mediator who troubleshoots and resolves workplace conflict for executive management, and customizes intervention strategies to grapple with “sensitive” confidential issues.

Dr. Govine was appointed as Commissioner on the Los Angeles County Commission for Women, to serve from 2012 to 2014. She previously served as Executive Director for the City of Pasadena’s Commission on the Status of Women from 1983-1990.

Dr. Govine earned her Doctorate in Higher and Adult Education and Adult Education Research at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, N.Y; Masters Degree in Higher and Adult Education and Adult Education Research from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, N.Y.; Masters Degree in Business Education from New York University; and Bachelor’s Degree in Business Education, New York University, New York, N.Y. She has taught at the college/university level, in New York, N.Y., and at the high school level, New York, N.Y.


Martin P Sanchez AYA Board Member

Martin Sanchez, Board Member
         Community Outreach Consultant, Wells Fargo

Martin Sanchez grew up in Southern California and earned a Bachelor of Science with a major in Finance, and a minor in International Business along with a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Spanish from Santa Clara University. He also earned a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Pepperdine University. He has worked in the mortgage banking industry in various roles—as a Senior Financial Analyst at IndyMac Bank, supporting Secondary Marketing & Correspondent Lending, and most recently at JPMorgan Chase as a Homeownership Advisor, working with customers to provide home retention options. In his current role as Community Outreach Consultant for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, he is based in their Downtown Los Angeles office, working directly with nonprofit partners, elected officials and other community leaders to support home preservation and business development within the Southern California & Hawaiian markets.

Martin also collaborates with Wells Fargo’s National Partners—particularly, The Hispanic Scholarship Fund, presenting Paying for College workshops to parents and students in various geographic markets.


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Larry Herrera, Board Member

           Retired Educator

Larry Herrera is a retired educator who spent 37 years in public education, his last 26 years as a school principal in the El Monte City School District. Larry was born and raised in the Boyle Heights - East Los Angeles area. He is a graduate of Garfield High School, attended East Los Angeles College, earned his B.A. from UCLA and his M.A. in Educational Administration from Cal State University, Los Angeles.

Since retirement, Larry has continued to champion causes that promote college and career achievement for students in the San Gabriel Valley and East Los Angeles areas. As a teacher and later as a principal, Larry also became aware of the importance of combatting the obesity issues of today's youth by instilling healthy nutritional habits in all students and stressing the importance of physical fitness. He is currently the chairman of the California Nutrition Advisory Council, an advisory council to the State Board of Education. As a principal, he led his schools to national recognition from former President Bill Clinton and the Alliance for a Healthier Generations and from First Lady Michelle Obama and the Healthier US Schools Challenge.

Larry has served on the Advisory Boards for both the Adelante Mujer Latina Conference and the Adelante Young Men! Conference, and is also a member of the El Monte City School District Comprehensive School Health Steering Committee.



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